Duo mixes business with pleasure on the turntables
For the most dedicated artists, the tunes and beats bouncing in their heads can never be harnessed. This love for music can often lead them to live in the studio. For CCSF students Austin Jacobsen and Daniel Gomez, this could not be more true.
For them, the trip from the mixer and keyboards to their pillows and sheets is about two feet.
Turntables, computer screens and a beat pad are ever present in their bedroom like a third roommate, sprawled across the desk, sitting below sheets of notes taped on the wall. Not too far from them in the living room sit friends and SF State alumni Oliver Escardo and Jordan Spaulding, their manager and agent, respectively.
“I’ve been their best friend for nine years,” said Escardo, the group’s manager. “I was there when they bought their first turntables.”
It is from this close-knit group of friends that Jacobsen and Gomez were able to form Realboy, an electronic music group.
Sophmore students at City College of San Francisco, Gomez is a psychology major currently on leave from school, and Jacobsen is an electrical engineering major.
Originally from Los Angeles, they have been friends since kindergarten, and were inspired to create a sound that could bring people back to one of the most important aspects of music: dancing.
“With a lot of music, there’s no dancing,” Gomez said. “You go to a John Mayer concert and there’s assigned seats for you to sit in. You should be doing the things music makes you do.”
The duo moved from performing shows on the UC Santa Cruz campus to a more fitting music scene in San Francisco. Together, the group of friends formed Our House Records, Realboy’s record label and promoter.
“It’s the embellishment of our ambition and a by-product of our feelings towards something we love,” Escardo said.
For Realboy, the line between friend and manager does not exist, nor do they think it should.
“They’re the core, its more about trust than anything,” Jacobsen said. “Some guy in a suit does what’s best for him while my friend Oliver wants to make sure his friends are living well.”
Despite close friendship, the group still maintains professionalism.
“We get a lot done and it’s easy to get them motivated; I just try to help shape their business ethic,” Escardo said. “I believe in them a lot.”
The company, which only has Realboy under its banner, organizes events in addition to managing the duo.
“With Our House Records, we want to invite people to our house so they can get to know our circle,” Escardo said.
This welcoming attitude toward fans is one of the group’s top priorities. In their experience, fans are not shy about contacting the group.
“We respond to everyone on Facebook and we answer every question,” Jacobsen said. “So even if it’s someone asking about how we got a certain sound, we don’t want to be separated from our fan base.”
As of now, the members of Realboy are happy with the group’s progress.
“We’re too young to take ourselves seriously,” Gomez said. “We’re just focused on growing.”
Despite a growing fan base, Realboy still appreciates the small instances of recognition.
“It’s cool to go to In-N-Out and get noticed and have people say ‘Hey Realboy,’” Gomez said.